Hot Cross wins another top title
Rob Cross claimed his fourth Professional Darts Corporation ProTour title of 2017 today (Tuesday).
The St Leonards-based player continued his amazing year with a 6-3 defeat of Adrian Lewis in the final of Players Championship 21 in Barnsley.
The former electrician, nicknamed Voltage, now tops the Players Championship Order of Merit going into November’s finals in Minehead.
Cross picked up the £10,000 top prize in today’s ProTour event with another fine display as he battled through the field before overcoming two-time world champion Lewis.
The 27-year-old began his challenge with a 6-0 whitewash of Ron Meulenkamp before fending off stiff tests from Craig Gilchrist (6-5), Steve West (6-3) and John Henderson (6-5).
He then whitewashed former world youth champion Keegan Brown in the quarter-finals before overcoming Irish ace William O’Connor for the loss of only two legs in the semi-finals.
Having shared the opening two legs of the final, Cross landed six perfect darts as he won leg three, broke on double 10 in the fourth and then finished 51 to open up a 4-1 cushion.
Lewis hit back in the sixth before Cross finished 90 on the bull to move 5-2 up. Lewis replied with a maximum and a 76 checkout to claim his third leg, but two missed darts to continue his challenge allowed Cross to finish 64 for victory.
“It’s nice to come out and play the best in the world and compete, and Adrian is fantastic,” Cross, who is up to 33rd and rising on the PDC order of merit, told the PDC.
“Over the last eight months I’ve learned to pull through the 6-5 games that I might have lost, and that’s how this is possible.
“Winning is a good habit to get into, and the first event I won was majorly important. Instead of coming into the room and saying that I believed I could do it, I knew I could do it, and that’s the difference.
“I’ve got the hunger to win and I want everything. I don’t want to lose a leg, let alone a game, and this is a massive confidence boost for going forward.
“To do what I’ve done this year is fantastic and I’ve over-achieved from my expectations. To go to Minehead as the number one seed, if that was to happen, is an achievement and something to be proud of.
“I’ve only had three or four goes on the TV, but I’m starting to feel more comfortable and fingers crossed I can get my best game out up there soon.”
Yesterday, Cross booked his place at next month’s Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals by claiming one of the eight places up for grabs at the PDC Tour Card Holders’ Qualifier.
After a bye in the last 128, he saw off Andy Boulton 5-2 in the last 64. Cross then overcame Robert Owen 5-3 in the last 32 before sealing qualification with a 5-1 win over Ryan Meikle, who had knocked out world number 14 Benito van de Pas in the previous round.